Lenovo Yoga 7i review: Impressive design meets powerful performance.

I love thin-and-light laptops. But over time I have realised that ultraportable laptops come with a lot of compromises, sometimes ignoring the basics, to settle for a mediocre experience. I can give you countless examples to prove my point.

Gradually, however, laptop makers too have realised the risks involved in creating a very light notebook that may cost more than the competition but pales in comparison to cheaper alternatives. Lenovo’s Yoga 7i is a rare 2-in-1 laptop that won’t qualify in the league of Ultrabooks but promises faster performance and video editing capability while maintaining a thin and light form factor. I’ve been using the Lenovo Yoga 7i for the past week, and while this notebook doesn’t come cheap at Rs 99,990, you’re ensured of an unbeatable experience.

Lenovo Yoga 7i review: What’s new?
The Yoga 7i has an understated look; it appears as if this notebook is primarily targeted at marketing executives or corporate lawyers. Lenovo’s design team understands minimalism, and the simplistic design approach does justice to a professional laptop. The notebook feels expensive with an all-aluminum design, and frankly, the “Steel Grey” colour option which I have received for review has a premium feel to it. It’s solid and feels good to touch. The lid of the laptop is embossed with ‘Yoga 7 Series’, which adds a classic look to the notebook.

 

The hinge feels strong and sturdy, and there is no wobble when I’m typing on my lap. And since this is a 2-in-1 notebook, you can use it in different ways. You can use the Yoga 7i as a traditional notebook, in tent mode, you can watch a movie or fold its screen all the way back to use it as a tablet. The Yoga 7i weighs in at 1.4kg. It’s lightweight and portable, making it great for business travel. The power adapter is small, and it’s good to see that this laptop charges via USB-C.

You will also notice two upward-firing speakers on each side of the keyboard. The display has slim bezels on either side and along the top is a thicker bezel to accommodate a 720p webcam that comes with a privacy shutter. The port selection on the Yoga 7i is limited, however. On the right side, you’ll find one USB-A and power button. On the left side, you will get two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Having a Thunderbolt 4 port allows you to power dual 4K monitors or one 8K monitor.

Lenovo Yoga 7i review: What’s good?
You will find two 2W speakers that are tuned for Dolby Atmos. I listen to music while working from home, and I am rather impressed with the audio clarity. While listening to “Good Days” by SZA, and the Yoga 7i’s speakers did a good job with sound separation. Lenovo is making no claims that the speakers are bass-heavy, and that’s okay.

The Yoga 7i, like many other new laptops, is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake processor. My review unit has an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB DDR4, and 512GB of SSD, though it lacks discrete graphics from Nvidia. Instead, what you get is Intel’s very own new Iris Xe graphics.

The internal hardware is suitable for video and photo editing, as well as running AAA games. I was able to run Forza Horizon Standard Edition on the Yoga 7i — but you need to adjust settings to accommodate such games. But what really matters is how well a laptop performs in everyday use. Make no mistake, this laptop is blisteringly fast. Browsing the web and running apps, the Yoga 7i feels fast. I am not into professional video or photo editing, but given the nature of my work, I would want to learn these skills in the near future. I might also learn how to code, and I am already looking forward to enrolling myself in one of the online classes. Think about that when you buy the Lenovo Yoga 7i or any other laptop for that matter.

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I found the Yoga 7i’s keyboard comfortable to use when typing. The keys are backlit but have a curved bottom. This doesn’t affect the typing experience as such. The keyboard is quieter in use, and to me, that really matters. Below the keyboard is a touchpad, and even though slightly smaller in size, it’s quite accurate. Towards the bottom-right of the keyboard, there’s a fingerprint sensor. I would have wanted to see an IR camera on a machine that costs a lakh but it’s okay to have an accurate fingerprint scanner that does the job well.

Battery life is a strong point of this Evo-certified Yoga 7i. The laptop ran for 7 hours and 30 minutes in my battery test, which is solid for a machine that rocks Intel’s 11th gen processor. In my testing experience, the Yoga 7i remained cool. The laptop, however, does get warm a bit after a prolonged gaming session or any other extreme use.

You will be impressed by the 14-inch touch screen display. It has a 1920×1080 resolution, and while the 300-nits display is bright, it’s not ultra-sharp. I have had no issues with the display — photos and videos look good. It is compatible with Dolby Vision. It’s nice for media consumption but this display might not impress content creators and video editors. That said, the screen supports Lenovo’s Active Pen 2 that has a full 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The top model, the one I am using as my daily driver, comes with the Pen. The good thing about the Yoga 7i is the Pen garage designed to keep the stylus secure.

Lenovo Yoga 7i review: What’s not good?
This has become my constant grouse. The Lenovo Yoga 7i too has an average 720p web camera. I am astonished to see that laptop makers are using the 720p webcams on their newest laptops at a time when smartphone front-cameras can shoot 4K videos.

Lenovo Yoga 7i review: Should you buy it?
With the Yoga 7i, Lenovo has taken a middle path. While this machine is powerful, it’s not designed to entice a pro video editor or a gamer. Rather, I would say the Yoga 7i will appeal to users who really need something powerful and portable at the same time. Honestly, most users won’t need quite so much power and for them, I would recommend the Yoga 7i with Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM. It costs Rs 82,656, and is good enough for work from home scenario.

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